Why one worldwide electronics company requires more than just basic CRM and email synchronization

Integration is more than just synchronization. A leading electronics company chose Riva to deliver secure integration of Salesforce and Exchange for hundreds of their employees. These employees now benefit from Riva’s ability to provide custom calendar synchronization to any client and device from Outlook to Salesforce. Lost calendar data due to modified or recurring calendar events is now a thing of the past. Employees are able to save time by scheduling meetings in either Exchange or Salesforce, resulting in much happier and more effective staff.


Our example is a worldwide leading manufacturer of electronic devices and a provider for content, media, and services for the consumer and professional market. Like most companies with thousands of employees, production sites across the globe, and regional subsidiaries – this company leverages a CRM system to best manage all customer relations and communications.

The Challenge

Our use case company uses Salesforce as their CRM system and Microsoft Exchange for email collaboration. They were looking for a solution to bring CRM and email together. They researched the free integration tools available, implemented the plug-in, and were not satisfied at all. Then they came to Riva CRM Integration to solve their challenges and meet their project must-haves, which included:

  • World-class reliability – The integration should deliver seamless, transparent, and rock solid synchronization at any time to desktop clients and to mobile devices.
  • Flexible, powerful calendar synchronization – Every CRM system offers calendar scheduling but the calendar software in CRMs in typically not as powerful as Microsoft Exchange’s calendar features. There were problems with reoccurring events, especially when meetings got cancelled or modified.
  • Consistent look and feel for meeting invitations – A meeting invitation sent via a CRM system looks different than a calendar invitation sent via an Outlook client. The company wanted to tidy up the messy meeting invites using Outlook (Exchange server) to send calendar invitations and in parallel to feed these advanced Outlook calendar invitations to Salesforce.
  • Cloud security – Due to the size of the company and having previously experienced an unprecedented network breach, they had major corporate security concerns. Ensuring they had the best security available was of the utmost importance.
  • Fast implementation – The company had a very tight project schedule and needed to resolve their integration challenges as quickly as possible and roll-out a solution across Europe.

The Solution

The company began testing Riva Cloud to synchronize Salesforce and Microsoft Exchange. They were pleased with the standard sync features of Riva including the ability to sync contacts, leads, person accounts, calendar events (appointments, meetings, recurring events, multi-day events), notes, tasks, email, opportunities, cases, quotes, projects, custom fields, custom objects, custom categories, and more. But how did Riva meet their advanced requirements?

  • The highest reliability – With Riva, there are no client-side plug-ins to install, configure, or manage. Riva syncs directly to the email server on the back end. Users have seamless access to their CRM data from all email clients (Windows Outlook, Outlook Web App, Outlook on Citrix and Terminal Server, Outlook for Mac, and others) as well as from any mobile device (iPhone, iPad, Android smartphones, etc.) and any tablet PC.
  • Precise calendar synchronization – Riva’s advanced customization capabilities overcame the issues that the CRM had with recurring events. Although Riva is touching the CRM only via web services, it can be configured to improve features within the CRM.

  • “Invitation Mode” for proper CRM-based meeting invitations – Riva offers numerous advanced options for configuration. One of the most often implemented options is called “Invitation Mode – send proper calendar invitations for CRM-originating appointments”. This means Riva intercepts CRM-originating appointments and sends them as proper appointment invitations via the email system  – instead of them being sent as emails from CRM.  Riva’s Invitation Mode sends the meeting invitations from Exchange (or IBM Notes or Google Apps) and thereby supports the standard ICS calendar invitation options.  This solves the issues with CRM-based invitations being sent as emails.  Inviation Mode allows CRM-based meeting invitations to be associated and linked to an accepted calendar event in the recipients’ calendars and properly updated if there are changes to the appointments.
  • Secure Cloud – Riva is built using the Microsoft .NET Framework and Microsoft technology stack. Riva implements security based on Microsoft security best practices. Communication from Riva to and from the CRM and email systems is made via SSL encryption. Riva communicates with the Exchange Client Access Server (CAS) using SSL-encrypted access to Exchange Web Services and communicates with the CRM using encrypted web services. The HTTPS certificate used for rivasync.com is the highest available from Verisign, using an RSA 2048-bit encryption. In addition, Riva supports numerous extended encryption solutions for mobile devices such as Good Technology and CipherCloud.
  • Short project schedule – With support from Riva Services, a pan-European rollout was completed within a very short period of time. With Riva, no additional software needed to be installed or configured on users’ laptops, desktops or mobile devices. All configurations were done in the back-end and were rolled-out at the same time – independent of the location or number of users.
  • The Results

    When this company first met with Riva, they were very frustrated with Salesforce as their CRM system. The lack of user adoption they experienced left them with an unsatisfactory ROI.

    The users were frustrated with an unreliable solution that synched little to no data, which meant they had to enter the data in two systems – both CRM and email. Double-entry lead to data duplication and errors and their data quality began to suffer.

    Implementing Riva solved all the company’s integration challenges. Riva syncs everything reliably with the CRM. Users are now able to use Outlook as their collaboration tool of choice without even realizing that Riva is working in the background to provide seamless and transparent integration. To summarize the results in one sentence: Riva turned the previously unreliable, unsatisfactory Salesforce implementation from a perceived failure to an immediate success, providing a positive ROI and 100% user adoption.

    “Riva up values Salesforce. All requests were fulfilled. We now have better processes, save tons of time, and have more reliability as well as more security.” states the company project leader.

    More information on Riva for Salesforce